Thomas Alva Edison - February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931 - American inventor and businessman.

Edison invented the light bulb

Reference Desk:

Story of Thomas Alva Edison by National Archives and Records Administration (video)

Government produced information movie pretty much a straight forward no frills encyclopedia article.

Invention Factory at The Thomas A Edison Papers

The Story Of Thomas Alva Edison - American Inventor Biography / Perfect Documentary (video)

Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park

Edison vs. Westinghouse: A Shocking Rivalry

Top 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Thomas Alva Edison

Edison vs. Westinghouse: A Shocking Rivalry

Thomas Edison Secretly Financed The First Electric Chair To Destroy His Rival

The Making of America: Thomas Edison,28804,1999143_2002893_2002888,00.html

History of Edison Sound Recordings

Thomas Edison was a lunatic - Geek History collection on Pinterest

Was Thomas Edison a hack? Historians take on claims in The Oatmeal

(1) How rich was Thomas Edison and his descendants

According to Celebrity Net Worth:

Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman who had a net worth of $12 million at the time of his death. He was born on 11th February, 1847, and passed away on October 18, 1931. $12 million in 1931 is equal to a modern equivalent of $170 million after adjusting for inflation.

You will often see answers to questions on Quora start with the thought: “Before you ask why, ask if …”

In the same mindset, there are many questions asking what famous people meant when they uttered various phrases. First and foremost, before you ask what they meant, it should be important to establish the fact that the famous person in question actually made the statement. There are endless websites that list famous quotes, seldom do they list a reference for the quote. It is all part of the frustrating part of the internet known as truth by consensus. If a dozen well know websites list a famous quote, who am I to question whether or not they actually said it.

Besides establishing the person actually made the statement, it helps to know when and where it was said, to give the quote some context. One line out of context can be interpreted many ways. But one line when read as part of a speech now has a greater meeting.

One famous example of where a few simple words have a much greater meaning when you understand the circumstances is when President Ronald Reagan said the simple phrase, “Tear down this wall!” in West Berlin on June 12, 1987. That simple phrase became symbolic of the decline of the Soviet Union. President Reagan was calling for the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to tear down the wall which had divided West and East Berlin since 1961.

As someone who is asked many questions about Nikola Tesla, I am often asked to explain things Tesla allegedly said. One “famous” quote by Tesla I see often is “If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have a key to the universe.” On one question on Quora I see people going through elaborate discussions of the relationship of the numbers 3, 6, and 9, and come up with theories what Tesla meant, if he had indeed made that statement. In all my searches I have yet to find any quote by Tesla that specifically mentions the phrase, “3, 6 and 9.”

In terms of the key to the universe, there is another quote often attributed to Tesla is, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” It is another example of something published often on pages of cool sayings and famous quotes, but the quotes are never referenced as to when and where it was said. I have gone through dozens of websites that will sell me cool posters with this phrase on them, but I am looking for the time and place these words were said by Tesla.

There is another question where I am asked if Tesla was right when he said, “the day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” I could come up with a wild guess of what Tesla might have meant if he actually said those words. I would really like to find a source of the orginal phrase from some transcript dating back to the time of Tesla, not a modern website written by a follower of Tesla.

Three of my most popular answers on Quora deal with Einstein's opinion of Nikola Tesla. The story is often told that when Einstein was asked how it felt to be the smartest man on Earth, Einstein replied, “I wouldn't know. Ask Nikola Tesla”. I have seen the quote often, and have searched for its origin, and have yet to find it.

I make a very serious attempt to reference every famous quote for a source and put the thought into context.

Shirley you can't be serious? I am serious… And don't call me Shirley.

Back in the good old days we used to add “Question that contains assumptions” as a topic to the question. Somehow this option got removed although it is shockingly common for people to assume nonsense and then ask why the nonsense would be the case. We had to come up with an alternative. Therefore “Before you ask why, ask if …” is a very polite way of saying “Your assumptions are bullshit and therefore your question is bullshit, too.”

Airplane!’s Creators Reveal the Origins of ‘Don’t Call Me Shirley’ –> Change the area where Tesla invented radio –> Wardenclyffe New York 1901 –> Add section on “Free Energy” –> The wild and crazy later years –> Add section on “the death beam”

Was Thomas Edison anti-Semitic?

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Thomas Alva Edison prolific inventor and legendary lunatic

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  • Last modified: 2020/04/27 15:58
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